Are Middle-Market Retailers Headed for Extinction?

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Brick-and-mortar retailers are still going strong, 20 years after the invention of the World Wide Web. But, researchers caution, as the U.S. population becomes increasingly more saturated with digital natives, we can expect retail stores to “go the way of the dodo bird,” according to a recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of CIT, a financial services firm.

“Retailers are optimistic today and looking forward to the future,” the report said. “Most have a generally favorable outlook on the impact of external forces (such as the federal government, consumers and financial institutions) on the growth of their business.”

Two-thirds (62%) of respondents plan to increase staff and expect an increase in sales over the upcoming holiday season.

However, the report said, an omnichannel strategy is critical to survival. Approximately 6 in 10 (61%) retailers agree that “one stop shop” retailers, such as Walmart or Target, will become the stores of the future. Thirty percent say that their website is their fastest growing property.

“We use website, Internet, and email marketing,” the owner of an apparel and accessories retailer said. “It can only help us. The more ways we can reach our existing and potential new customers, the better for us. I predict that we will need to be more aggressive with online marketing and social media.”

More than 6 in 10 (63%) believe that it has been challenging to implement an omni-channel strategy that provides a seamless experience to consumers, CIT reported.

To understand more about upcoming trends in retail, read the full report here.